China: Man Sentenced to Death for Selling 150,000 Classified Documents to Foreign Agency

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A Chinese national, Huang Yu, was sentenced to death after the Chinese government found out that he was selling classified documents to an unknown foreign intelligence agency, according to state television news reports.

Huang Yu worked as a computer technician for a government research institute in China’s Sichuan Province between 2002 and 2004. He offered to sell military communication codes to foreign agencies in 2002. He was fired abruptly, apparently for poor performance, and contacted a foreign intelligence agency over the Internet, offering to sell them the classified documents.

“This case would have led to bloodshed and cost lives if it happened in wartime,” a Chinese Naatonal Security Agency official said, according to state media.

He met with the agents over 21 times over the course of a decade, sending them over 150,000 classified documents, including 90 “top confidential,” 292 “confidential” and 1,674 “secret” files. The files detailed a cipher system that the research institute was working on, as well as China’s leadership, military and financial operations. He initially received 10,000 USD, and was compensated with a monthly 5,000 USD salary until 2011 – the year he was arrested. He made over 700,000 USD over the course of his “employment.”

After depleting his reserve of files, Huang apparently roped in his wife and brother-in-law to continue the operation. His wife also worked as a technician at a similar research company, while his brother-in-law worked in the company Huang was previously employed at.

“I bought many insurance policies for myself. In the event that I was unable to return from meetings with foreign agents, my family would have a fortune,” said Huang according to state media.

Huang’s frequent visits overseas to meet with the agents, and his mysterious ability to amass a relatively large sum of money despite being unemployed, roused the suspicions of the Chinese authorities who arrested him in 2011. Huang’s wife received a five year sentence while his brother-in-law received a three year sentence.

Previously, Chinese state media had praised a Chinese hacker who admited to attempting to steal data from US defense contractors and called for the nation to “show our gratitude and respect for his service to our country.” State media simultaniously claimed that he might have been innocent, noting that “as the ‘war of information’ between China and the US continues there will probably be more Chinese framed as spies.”
Sources: Softpedia, South China Morning Post, CBC.


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